Walking with the RD’s

Today we publish our first episode of Walking with the RD’s!

Together with my fellow Microsoft Regional Directors from the Netherlands, Marcel de Vries: CTO of Xpirit, Maarten Goet: Director at Wortell, Maarten Eekels: Chief, Digital Officer and Managing Partner at Portiva, and Andre Carlucci, Global Director of Application Engineering at Kinley, we will do a monthly walk where we will discuss various business related topics.

In this first episode, we will talk about the following topic:

“Working from home’ while still performing. How do we deal with this and what has worked very well for ourselves and the teams we work with.

What are Microsoft Regional Directors?

The Regional Director Program provides Microsoft leaders with the customer insights and real-world voices it needs to continue empowering developers and IT professionals with the world’s most innovative and impactful tools, services, and solutions.

If you want more information about the Microsoft Regional Director program, you can take a look here.

If you want to know how we experienced the last year working from home, what are challenges are and how we supported our teams, check out this first episode!

Microsoft Azure – a cloud-native success story

One of our clients helps several retailers, both local and global, acquire, engage, and retain their customers.

They achieve this by providing strategy, tools, and tactics. These services are provided to the customer in a digital way. The customer can use web portals, a variety of different services, and can get valuable insights into their data. 

To bring their services to the next level, and to address the requirements that their customers have now and in the future, they decided to take advantage of using the cloud. By leveraging cloud-native services, they are able to provide their customers with a set of secure services and give real-time insights into data. To support their customers in the most effective way, they decided to host their services on Microsoft Azure. 

The challenge

The challenge this client is facing is similar to the challenges a lot of organizations face right now. There is an urgent need for digital transformation to keep addressing customer needs, stay competitive, and  innovate and use state-of-the-art technologies. But most of the services that are offered to their customers still run on an on-premises infrastructure that is not ready to support this. 

This was also the challenge for our client. They were providing services that were still running in an on-premises environment, which was not able to provide innovative technologies and scale accordingly to address future needs.

This client reached out to us to help them implement cloud-native services to renew their IT landscape, offer their customers  a set of services that are specifically designed for performance, security, and redundancy and provide real-time insights in data coming from various sources. This data is partially stored in Azure, but also in on-premises databases. 

Our approach

Together with the client, we decided to take advantage of all the cloud-native services that Azure has to offer, from a microservices and data analytics and insights perspective. The project was divided into two smaller projects, starting with building a full cloud-native microservices environment using only serverless technology. This will be followed by a new project for storing customer data using Azure Data Lake, implementing real-time insights using Azure Event Hub, and using various services to provide interactive, immersive dashboards and reports, such as Azure Data Share and other tooling. We decided that our cloud-native development offering was most applicable to this project. 

With our offering, we are providing tour clients with:

  • Domain-driven design (DDD): When implementing a microservices architecture, DDD is a design approach you can benefit from. Where to draw the boundaries is the key task when designing and defining a microservice. DDD patterns help you understand the complexity in the domain.
  • Cloud-native design patterns: To build highly reliable, scalable, secure applications and services, every developer needs to make use of common cloud-native design patterns. We focus fully on implementing Microsoft best practices and patterns.
  • Dev/test optimization: We bring our own development and test environments to the project. For this, we use container technologies, which have all the commonly used tooling and software pre-deployed. Next, we use automated performance and acceptance tests, fully integrated in Azure DevOps.
  • Everything-as-code: We offer out-of-the-box landing zones, which include security and compliance policies and monitoring rules. These monitoring rules are based on our experiences and best practices that we have developed over the years managing cloud environments for our global customers. We are implementing zero-touch deployments using Azure DevOps and CI/CD pipelines for automatically building and releasing applications and services.

How we implemented it

The first step was to deploy the landing zone, which included an API Management gateway, a VNet, log analytics, application insights, security policies, and default monitoring and logging rules in the Azure subscription. We deployed it automatically using CI/CD pipelines so that it can easily be deployed across different environments. Next, we started building the first APIs, using serverless services, such as Azure Functions, Azure Storage, Azure Service Bus, an Azure Key Vault, and more. We implemented cloud-native design patterns to build them. To get access to the data that still resides in the SAP on-premises environment, an Express Route connection was set up. For authentication, we used Azure Active Directory, Auth 2.0, Open ID Connect and the out-of-the-box libraries that are provided by Microsoft, such as MSAL.

By using landing zones, cloud-native patterns and Microsoft best practices, and securing it using Azure Policies and Azure Active Directory in our solution, we now have a solid foundation for rapidly building and deploying additional services.

Next steps

At this stage, we have successfully implemented a set of secure microservices for the client, which are automatically deployed across environments, securely connecting to an on-premises SAP environment, and exposed via a single gateway. Next, we will be implementing the second project, where we will form an additional DevOps team that will implement the solution for storing customer data, and provide real-time insights.


This blog provides an overview of a cloud-native project that we are currently implementing for one of our customers. At Capgemini, we have a lot of experience, use cases, and best practices in implementing cloud-native practices and designing and building cloud-native applications and systems for our enterprise customers. If you want more information about our experiences with this, you can contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

You can also read my other articles here.

Bi-weekly Azure Summary – Part 75

This bi-weekly update is a summary of trending Azure topics on social media, as well as other interesting content available on the internet.

Below, you can see an overview of interesting blogs, articles, videos and more that are posted on social media and other channels:


Development / IT Pro


Azure Thursday – February 2021

Our Azure Thursday meetup was a huge success again! This time, we had the following speakers and sessions:

Rory Preddy | Programming for Accessibility

Building accessibility into the planning stages of programming can eliminate barriers to participation and create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Programming for diversity serves as an unquestionable indicator that your software embraces the diversity of your users and cares about their safety and comfort.

Andre van den Berg | Blogging with Markdown and Azure DevOps

Explaining the basics of markdown, and then show how you can build a static site with Hugo generated from the markdown files. Then will show how to automate this with Azure DevOps. So first we put the markdown files on a Azure Repo so we can have version control. Then we build a Build pipeline in Azure DevOps to generate the Artifact that we can use in the Release pipeline to Publish the static generated website on Azure Webapps when there is a commit on the master of the Repo.

Esther Barthel & Freek Berson | Empowering ARM and JSON with Project ‘Bicep’

70% of all declarative resources created in Azure are done via ARM Templates! ARM Templates are based on JSON and a declarative syntax, but how easy is it to author these? Join Esther and Freek for a fun and demo-heavy session and learn how to empower your ARM Templates with Project ‘Bicep’!

Bi-weekly Azure Summary – Part 74

This bi-weekly update is a summary of trending Azure topics on social media, as well as other interesting content available on the internet.

Below, you can see an overview of interesting blogs, articles, videos and more that are posted on social media and other channels:


Development / IT Pro


How to learn Azure

Cloud skills are becoming more popular every day! A lot of organizations are embracing the cloud for their applications, infrastructure, Machine Learning and IoT solutions. And this will grow significally in the next years!

This also means that (Microsoft) IT professionals need to update their skills as well. In this article I will give an overview how you can get started updating your skills and be ready for all the Azure work that is coming in the near future!

Create a free Azure account

The first step, is to create a free Azure account. With this account you can test all the different services and deploy your code to Azure during the different trainings. You get 12 months of free access to all the different Azure services for a limited amount per month.

You can create a free Azure account here: Create your Azure free account today | Microsoft Azure. There is also a module on Microsoft Learn that gives you more information about creating a free Azure account, and how billing and support works in Azure. This module is called: Create an Azure account.

Learn Azure on Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn offers free, interactive, hands-on training to help you develop Azure technical skills. You can find a variety of learning paths on Microsoft Learn, such as Azure, Microsoft 365, .NET development, Power Platform an more. You can also watch Learn TV, or explore the different Azure certifications from there.

Microsoft Learn TV

For start learning Azure, the following learning paths are very interesting:

Azure Fundamentals Learning Paths:

Azure Fundamentals Learning Paths

These learning paths will give you a very comprehensive introduction to Azure. By completing the learning path, you will also be ready to take the AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification.

Learn Azure using Microsoft Docs

Another great source for learning Azure are the Microsoft Docs. I make lots of use it for writing my Azure books. You can find anything that you want to know about Azure there.

Azure documentation on Microsoft Docs

Learn Azure using books

There is also a variety of books available to learn Azure. You can have a look at Amazon for the different books that are available.

To highlight a couple of books:


Azure Thursday – January 2021

Yesterday we had a very interesting Azure Thursday meetup again. We had the following speakers and sessions:

Scott Hanselman | Part II: Moving a 17 year old legacy blog platform to the cloud

Scott’s blog is super old. The tech is super old. Scott is super old. What happens when he tries to move the whole Hanselman online mess to Azure? Let’s talk to him and find out.

This is part II in this saga we started last July. Scott will tell us how he succeeded and everyone knows the part II in the saga is even better than the first one.

Martijn Beenker – The enterprise data lake: monitoring at scale

When data lakes grow, they grow in size, complexity and inhabitants – creating complex dependencies across wide ranges of Azure services and different teams. Creating a true operations challenge: how do you find and respond to incidents, and who should respond?

During this session, we’ll look at how to monitor across the boundaries of Azure services and development teams that together make the ecosystem of the data lake. Aided by the Four Golden Signals and Azure Monitor capabilities we’ll create the blueprint for effective monitoring and incident handling. No matter how big the lake.

Menaka Baskerpillai | All about Azure Network Securities

In this session Menaka is going to explain how to implement network security in Azure. Networking security plays an important role in Todays world. Implementing security via cloud services provider plays a vital role.

You can watch the whole recording of yesterdays stream here:

Bi-weekly Azure Summary – Part 73

This bi-weekly update is a summary of trending Azure topics on social media, as well as other interesting content available on the internet.

Below, you can see an overview of interesting blogs, articles, videos and more that are posted on social media and other channels:


Development / IT Pro


Implementing Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies: AZ-303

The AZ-303: Implementing Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies is published. This book is written together with Brett Hargreaves, he updated the original AZ-300 book that was published a year ago.

What you will learn

  • Manage Azure subscriptions and resources
  • Ensure governance and compliance with policies, roles, and blueprints
  • Build, migrate, and protect servers in Azure
  • Configure, monitor, and troubleshoot virtual networks
  • Manage Azure AD and implement multi-factor authentication
  • Configure hybrid integration with Azure AD Connect
  • Find out how you can monitor costs, performance, and security
  • Develop solutions that use Cosmos DB and Azure SQL Database

Table of Contents

  1. Implementing Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring
  2. Creating and Configuring Storage Accounts
  3. Implementing and Managing Virtual Machines
  4. Implementing and Managing Virtual Networking
  5. Creating Connectivity between Virtual Networks
  6. Managing Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
  7. Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  8. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Identities
  9. Managing Workloads in Azure
  10. Implementing Load Balancing and Networking Security
  11. Implementing Azure Governance Solutions
  12. Creating Web Apps Using PaaS and Serverless
  13. Designing and Developing Apps for Containers
  14. Implementing Authentication
  15. Developing Solutions that Use Cosmos DB Storage

You can order the book on Amazon using this link: https://amzn.to/2KzaMyJ 

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